Lok Sabha to decide UPA's fate in two days

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{image-Lok sabha1_20072008.jpg www.oneindia.com}New Delhi, Jul 20: The two-day special session of the Lok Sabha will begin at 1100 hours on Monday, July 21 to decide the fate of the Manmohan Singh government amid claims by both the ruling UPA as well as the opposition groupings that they have the majority on their side. At the outset of the sitting, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is expected to move a one-line motion that his four-year-old regime enjoys the trust of the House and seek the confidence vote from the 543 Members of the Lok Sabha.

In his speech, Dr Singh is likely to turn the debate on confidence motion, necessitated by the withdrawal of support by the Left parties on the Indo-US nuclear deal, into a larger discussion on the performance of his government in all sectors in the past four years and unfinished business of economic reforms in the insurance, banking and pension sectors..

Aggressively seeking support for the nuclear deal, which he firmly believes is in India's interests, the Prime Minister will also use the opportunity to focus attention on the steps taken by the government to tame inflation and on the ambitious programmes launched by it to boost rural and urban infrastructure, raise employment and improve education and health services, among other things.

He will also dwell at length on the steps taken by the government for the benefit of the minorities.

Besides, Dr Singh is likely to address all the concerns raised by the Left, the main opposition BJP and other sections about the nuclear deal and underline the absolute necessity of ensuring India's energy security if the current pace of development is to be maintained and increased.

To nullify all the mud-slinging by the Left and NDA on the nuke deal, the Prime Minister might suggest that the government was ''open to the idea'' of amending domestic atomic energy laws to counter the provisions of the US Hyde Act, which has been one of the main points on which the BJP and other parties have opposed the deal.

Dr Singh will also dwell on issues like price rise, inflation, food security and steps taken by the government to tackle these problems. The UPA has ascribed inflation to imported phenomenon, triggered by the increase in oil prices across the world. He might deplore the manner the Left Parties, the UPA's allies in all the four years, withdrew support to his government when he was on way to Japan to attend G-8 Summit.

CPM General Secretary Prakash Karat and leaders of the other Left parties would, however, be in no mood to spare the government on the nuclear deal on the ground that the Prime Minister had not been transparent on the matter.

The Left Parties had been denouncing the deal on the pretext that it was not in national interest, the line taken by the opposition NDA.

There is, however, perceptible differences between the Left Parties and BJP in opposing the deal, while the former was not in favour of any deal with the US, the latter did not see any harm in improving relations with the US, but had expressed opposition to the deal, particularly the Hyde Act, which would take away India's nuclear sovereignty.

The BJP has made it clear that its speakers in the debate would concentrate more on issues confronting the nation and the common man like price rise, inflation, farmers plight, food security, terrorism and foreign policy and expose the all round failures of the government on every front.

Both the ruling alliance and the Opposition parties, in an attempt to keep its flock intact, had issued whips, asking their MPs to be present in Delhi by evening of July 20. The BJP has called a meeting of its MPs this evening, to be followed by a joint meeting Of the NDA MPs at the residence of Leader of the Opposition L K Advani. It will also be an exercise for head-counts to ascertain the exact number on its side.

Yet the continuation of the Manmohan Singh government hinges on how many indisposed and convicted MPs will be able to participate in the trial of strength and how long the SP, despite contrary reports, succeeds to keep its flock of 39 intact.

Following is the partywise position:

Congress (153)

BJP (130)

CPM (43)

Samajwadi Party(34)

RJD(24)

Bahujan Samaj Party (17)

DMK (16)

Shiv Sena (12)

Biju Janata Dal (11)

NCP (11)

CPI (10)

Janata Dal (U)-( 8)

Shiromani Akali Dal (8)

Independents (6)

PMK (6)

JMM (5)

TDP (5)

Lok Janshakti Party (4)

MDMK (4)

AIFB (3)

JD(S) 3

Rashtriya Lok Dal (3)

RSP (3)

Telangana Rashtra Samithi (3)

AGP (2)

National Conference (2)

Kerala Congress (2)

AIMIM (1)

Trinamool Congress (1)

Bharatiya Navshakti Party (1)

JK Peoples Democratic Party (1)

Mizo National Front (1)

National Loktantrik Party (1)

Muslim League Kerala State Committee (1)

Nagaland Peoples Front (1)

National Loktantrik Party (1)

Republican Party of India (A) (1)

Sikkim Democratic Front (1)

UNI

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